Gearing up for remote working with Coronavirus uncertainty

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Phil
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The outbreak of Coronavirus has had a massive impact on peoples’ lives across the world and spiralled most countries into a period of uncertainty and panic. At the time of writing, the advice from the UK and European governments is to self-isolate, if you have come into contact with an infected person, travelled to affected countries or if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus. Everyone should work from home if they can, according to stringent new measures in the UK to combat the spread of coronavirus.

As fragile beings, our health and wellbeing is obviously a top priority but another big worry is how to continue to work/make money or more importantly for business owners – how to survive and keep your business afloat. The option to work from home is a big advantage during this challenging period and there is likely to be a significant shift in this scenario, if possible for employees. For many people, homeworking will not be possible, but with the likelihood of at least 14 days of self-isolation ahead, workers must act fast and adapt to change as soon as possible.

Remote working is business as usual for Web Foundry

At Web Foundry, we are no strangers to remote working and often promote it amongst our clients. As afully integrated digital agency, we have offices in Edinburgh and Manchester but fully embrace remote working, as it enables us to work flexibly and smarter. Web Foundry have the advantage in our industry, as remote working is the normal mode of operation for us. Remote working generates many benefits to our clients with increased output on our ongoing projects, better value of our allocated time and overall peace of mind that we are in good shape to deliver expectations.

In times of crisis, companies need to have a contingency plan and remote working can provide a continuity advantage. If face to face meetings are no longer acceptable, you can continue the conversation on Skype or social media platforms such as Slack, Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp. We have a multi-skilled team based in different countries, so we have the option of having a longer working day, over different time zones and with reduced overheads, we can focus on competitive pricing for clients.

Everyone who can work from home should do so. There will be practical issues for employers and employees, but as long as workers are given clear guidance on the matter, many daily tasks can be adapted to be delivered online.

 

How companies can transition to remote working

We have a growing situation of uncertainty with Coronavirus and unfortunately many businesses will struggle to keep going with increased costs and reduced revenue.A range of extra support and measures will be in place to help workers, benefit claimants and businesses affected by coronavirus. The government is offering some tax relief for self-employed and small businesses but what they can’t provide is the actual customers.

 To get started with remote working, the team at Web Foundry frequently research and test new technology and tools to enable maximum productivity and results, through all work procedures. Many of our team are based in the UK, but we also have colleagues in Sweden, Belarus, Lithuania, Macedonia and Romania. Our clients don’t really notice any difference as project calls and briefings can usually be done over the phone or via Skype.

 

Social distancing is the recommended action for Coronavirus, but we have effectively been remote for over 10 years now – without being distant.

SMART objectives for all businesses include a focus on saving time and money and leveraging remote working practices and technology can do just that. At Web Foundry, we can pass on the unbelievable value for money to our clients because of the time and money we have saved on resources by adapting homeworking methods.

Traditional ways ofworking, such as 9am – 5pm in a UK office can often lead to limits on output but remote working practices lifts limits and releases the potential of all workers involved in projects. Globally freelance workers can set their own deadlines and work in a timeframe that suits their lifestyle,family life or other work commitments. At Web Foundry, we can offer extended support, as our team is online for 6am – 6pm, Monday to Friday and for our retained service clients, we offer SLA backed support.

As a business owner, it may be necessary to spend extra time on customer service, being as transparent as possible and dealing with any refunds or new questions customers may have.One of the first steps you can take is to update your website with the latest information, providing links to more information, advice or support for customers and adopt a hygiene protocol. You can also encourage a no touch policy and invite customers to do online shopping to promote continuity of service.

5 ways business owners can stay in control

 

1.      Stay in touch with yourcustomers.

2.      Keep yourself safe andinformed.

3.      Try hosting online events, team meetings or web conferences.

4.      Prepare a customer service plan.

5.      Provide FAQs or specific FAQs for Coronavirus related questions.

Get creative

Businesses are already getting creative and sharing good practice. Some of the government advice has been to sing “Happy birthday” while washing your hands but others have recommended new popular songs to make it more appealing, like Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen……

Stay safe and informed

As Coronavirus spreads,it’s important to know the facts, the symptoms to look out for and what to doif you need help. For the latest health information and advice, go to the NHS website.

Read more about how remote working is beneficial for Web Foundry staff and clients.

It's important to understand how your business will react to a crisis such as this one and how you can use the online medium to manage a negative business situation. Please get in touch, if you have anyquestions on how you can take the next step or if you want to reach out and share your story with us. Contact Web Foundry.

One connected team. Endless possibilities.